Vietnam-New Zealand/December 07, 2022/By: Waikato Herald/Source: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/
The University of Waikato welcomed members of the Vietnamese parliament and higher education leaders to campus on Monday for a Vietnam-New Zealand Education Forum. Vietnam’s high-ranking delegation was led by National Assembly chairman Vuong Dình Hue.
The visit is the first major state visit from Vietnam since the borders opened after the pandemic, and follows Prime Minister Jacinda Adern’s recent visit to the nation where both governments reasserted their commitment to working together as strategic partners.
University of Waikato director international Sharon Calvert says the opportunity to host about 70 members of the delegation at the forum is important for the university and the region.
“The University of Waikato has a long and rich relationship with Vietnam. Our vice-chancellor, Professor Neil Quigley, has been involved in the development of education links between the two countries for more than 20 years, and Waikato launched its first offshore degree programme with the National Economics University in Hanoi, Vietnam, last year — the first New Zealand University to do so.
“Being able to lean into those relationships and bring such a large and high-level delegation to Waikato is really important. It’s an opportunity to introduce the Waikato region and share our strengths not just in education but also industry, agriculture, trade and research,” Calvert says.
Professor Quigley met with Vietnam’s former prime minister and current state president Nguyen Xuan Phuc in March 2018 in New Zealand. He says that over the past two decades, the scholarships provided by the Vietnamese government to support the completion of higher degrees have been important in supporting many Vietnamese students completing master’s and PhD degrees in New Zealand.
“Over the last two decades, many thousands of students have come to New Zealand to study, and many New Zealand students have had the opportunity to undertake study tours to Vietnam,” he said. “They are a key bridge to building lifelong connections between our countries.”
Professor Quigley noted the attendance of representatives from all eight New Zealand universities at Monday morning’s forum.
“The presence of so many representatives of New Zealand education institutions here today indicates how strong the education links between New Zealand and Vietnam actually are, and how much potential there is for further development of the relationship.”
The University of Waikato regularly sends students to Vietnam as part of the Prime Minister’s Scholarships programme and is committed to building long-term strategic relationships with Vietnam.
“With 209 alumni from Vietnam and around 200 students currently studying on Waikato programmes, we look forward to welcoming more students and strengthening our ties as a result of this delegation,” Quigley says. A number of memorandums of understanding were signed by the attending universities and their Vietnam counterparts to further increase co-operation and show the combined commitment to a strategic partnership.
New Zealand’s former Governor-General and current chancellor of the University of Waikato, Sir Anand Satyanand, was to address the forum, along with Education New Zealand chief executive Grant McPherson and University of Waikato vice-chancellor Professor Neil Quigley, who was to launch the New Zealand-Vietnam Friendship Association.